American Elephants


Repeating Common Fallacies Does Not Make Them True! by The Elephant's Child

President Obama’s speech from the Oval Office on the BP Deepwater oil spill has been received with a unanimous boo from the American people and the pundits.  Even the Democrats hated it.   There remains plenty to object to in the speech, but I particularly want to point out some  of Obama’s oft repeated fallacies:

We consume more than 20% of the world’s oil, but have less than 2% of the world’s oil reserves.  That’s part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean — because we’re running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water.

False! The U.S. counts our oil reserves as those that are fully available for drilling.  This means that all those reserves in ANWR, Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, California, off the East Coast, off the West Coast, everything where Democrats have blocked access are not counted in our reserves, though they are there.  If you count our real reserves, we have enough fossil fuels to last us for at least 300 years.  That’s three centuries!  And that ‘s just the oil that we know is there.  The “peak oil” folks have been out there for years, but they have always been wrong.

The reason we are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean is only because Democrat administrations have banned drilling in the easier places, where spills would not be a real challenge.  This is done to please environmental organizations who donate heavily to Democrat campaigns, and lobby a lot, and to enhance the coffers of favored green energy companies and rent-seeking corporations.

For decades we have known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered.  For decades, we have talked and talked about the need to end America’s century-long addiction to fossil fuels.  And for decades we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires.  Time and again, the path forward has been blocked — not only by oil industry lobbyists but also by a lack of political courage and candor.

False! The days of cheap and easily accessible oil are numbered only by misguided actions of government. America does not have an “addiction” to fossil fuels.  Fossil fuels provide the energy that powers our society.  There is, at present and for the foreseeable future, no alternative.  We will be dependent on fossil fuels for at least the next 50 years.  Beyond that is just too remote to predict.

Lots of people are working on technologies they deem to have potential, but the potential only lasts as long as the subsidies.  There’s a lot of — “as soon as we have this big breakthrough.” They have been searching for a big breakthrough in batteries since the first electric car.  See the little pinky-peach wedge?  That and the dark blue wedge represent the portion of our electricity that is produced by wind, solar, geothermal and biofuels.  That’s Obama’s “clean energy economy.”

On the transportation side, the picture is much the same.  We now have 10% ethanol in our gasoline.  The environmental people and the ethanol scammers want to raise it to 15% but only 3% of our cars have flex-fuel engines that could accept that much ethanol.  Nobody is very sure that the 10% requirement is not damaging our cars.  It is also damaging all the gas-run things like lawn mowers, camp stoves, power tools, boat engines etc. Ethanol contains less energy than gasoline.  Takes more gallons than gasoline does to go the same distance.  To recharge an electric car battery takes something like 7 hours.  There are no charging stations.  The Chevy Volt goes 40 miles (supposedly) on a charge, costs around $40,000 without government subsidy.  This is also Obama’s “clean energy economy.”

Everywhere in the world, when the subsidies are ended, the wind, solar, ethanol, electric cars, all those ever-so promising technologies just stop.  Yes, there’s algae and solar-thermal and lots of really interesting experiments.  But they are not ready for prime time, and trying to make it so by shutting down producer wells and banning drilling, and putting more and more areas off-limits is not going to change that basic fact.  Nor is throwing buckets of money at people who promise miracles going to change that basic fact.



Perpetuum Jazzile presents “A Song in a Seashell.” by The Elephant's Child
June 16, 2010, 1:50 pm
Filed under: Entertainment, Music, Politics | Tags: , ,

Perpetuum Jazzile is an a Capella jazz choir from Slovenia. This video was filmed in Portoroz, Slovenia on the 18th of July 2009.  I am posting it is the belief that somewhere it is warm and sunny and people are going to the beach and having picnics.

We live in the great Northwest, and it is rainy, cold and 52°.  The weatherman promised three nice days this weekend — we got one.

The song is Prisluhni školjki (A Song in a Seashell).  We have posted some of their other videos earlier.  Here is Eres Tu, here is Will You Be There, and here is the amazing and beautiful Africa.



Coolest Tooth-Pull Ever! by American Elephant
June 16, 2010, 6:22 am
Filed under: Fun n Games | Tags: , ,

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Fun AND edumacational! Too bad Dad’s on his way to prison and the kid has been seized by Child Protective Services (I kid!)

But that’s sure a hard act for the Tooth Fairy to follow. Hmmm…wonder what a tooth is worth these days…



A Disappointing Speech, Direct From the Oval Office. by The Elephant's Child


When a president gives a speech from the oval office, it is supposed to be a little more serious than the ordinary speech.  Obama apparently has a low opinion of the intelligence and understanding of the American people.  And he needs a new team of speechwriters.  He says that which he thinks sounds good and will make people like him, larded with platitudes and cliches,  rather than that which is blunt, straightforward and truthful.  It was a disappointing speech.

Obama will appoint commissions, assemble teams — especially those led by Nobel Prize-winning physicist  Dr. Steven Chu; if we can send a man to the moon, then we can…; worst environmental disaster we have ever faced; largest environmental cleanup effort;  long term Gulf restoration program; days of cheap and easily accessible energy; century long addiction to oil; lack of political courage and candor; clean-energy future; time for this generation to embark on a national mission; many more cliches and inaccuracies.  You can  easily fill in the blanks for yourself.

It’s a big plug for his “green-energy future” and “green-energy jobs.” Is he a true believer?  Is it only a cynical way to get more tax money and increase government power?  Does he believe in green power as an entree to an international green governing organization?  It’s hard to tell.

Those who really understand the energy industry and the technologies involved tell us that wind energy does not work. It is not technically sound, economically  competitive, or an environmentally beneficial method of producing electrical energy.  Solar is even less so, and neither replaces petroleum.  Ethanol is a scam. Any widespread use of electric cars is years and years away, if ever.  Obama seems to believe that if he orders something to be, and throws enough money at it, then it will be. This is not reality but wishful thinking. And the green jobs are as insubstantial as the energy which they involve.

Obama has engineered another energy disaster at our expense to help the reelection chances of Senator Harry Reid of Nevada.  Last year, Obama cut off funding for a legally mandated nuclear-waste depository beneath Yucca Mountain, about 90 miles north of Las Vegas.  The project had been opposed for years by Reid.  Construction costs on the project have already topped $10 billion.

Obama’s funding decision has created a huge waste-disposal  headache for the nuclear industry, which now stores old highly radioactive fuel rods on site in temporary storage containers.  Years ago, DOE signed contracts with the utilities to take the waste and store it at Yucca Mountain.  Breach of contract suits filed by 72 utilities seek $50 billion in damages.  Nice going.




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